Your digestive system and its processes enable you to absorb the necessary nutrients you need and help you get rid of your body’s waste.
Digestion is also a complex process, which involves many organs. However, due to antibiotics and an increased intake of processed and chemicals in the food, digestive problems may occur. For this reason, most people suffer from digestive problems weekly, daily, or for a lifetime.
Here’s a list of signs that indicate a digestive problem. If you notice any, make sure to consult your doctor immediately.
- Bad Breath
Did you know that digestive problems can be the main cause of bad breath? In fact, the kind of odor you smell from your breath can help you determine the real issue. For instance, a fruity smell may indicate diabetes, while a fishy smell could point out problems with the kidney.
Luckily, a great way to treat bad breath is by including probiotics in your diet, which can help balance your gut flora. Fermented foods may also help feed the good bacteria and improve your digestion, improving the smell of your breath.
A hot or burning sensation rising in your chest after a meal that’s keeping you up all night is referred to as reflux. It’s one of the common signs of a digestive problem, and if you experience it regularly, it may indicate that you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Other than heartburn, you may also experience a bad taste or bits of food in your mouth. It may also cause hypersalivation. Reflux frequently happens when your stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, which is often due to particular foods, some medications, pregnancy, and alcohol.
GERD and persistent reflux may damage your esophagus over time and can result in esophageal cancer. Reflux symptoms must be taken seriously because of their potential harm. Once you experience frequent nausea, difficulty breathing, chest pain, tooth erosion, and heartburn, schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately.
- Food Tolerance And Allergies
Digestive problems can be an underlying cause of food allergies in children. Usually, food intolerance is due to the deficient amount of a particular digestive enzyme necessary to process some types of foods.
More often than not, allergies and intolerances are used interchangeably. But food allergies are actually more severe compared to intolerances. Also, allergies should be managed differently. For this reason, you must always discuss your reactions to the foods you eat with your doctor. Although food intolerance affects digestion, allergies may trigger reactions, like respiratory issues and hives.
If you’re suffering from allergies, you must avoid any kind of food that triggers your symptoms. When it comes to intolerance, there are instances that over-the-counter (OTC) pills can be an alternative to replace any deficient enzyme and let you eat particular kinds of foods.
Many people experience constipation, which is a common sign that your body is having problems eliminating waste. Usually, it happens when your colon can’t pass the stools through the digestive tract. If you’re suffering from constipation, you might feel bloated, have infrequent and painful stools, and experience abdominal pain.
The usual stool’s frequency is anywhere between thrice a week and thrice a day. If it’s already one week and you haven’t passed a stool, start seeing your doctor. Constipation may result in some problems. Straining and hard stools that frequently accompany constipation can result in anal fissure and hemorrhoids.
While you might want to consider laxatives as your first solution, remember that you might become dependent on them, which could make them ineffective. Rather than relying on laxatives, increase your water and fiber intake. Also, ensure to get enough exercise.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
If you’re suffering from discomfort or stomach pain for several months, you may have a digestive problem known as irritable bowel syndrome, which is also referred to as IBS. It’s a common digestive problem that affects many people.
The signs of IBS may vary, but it’s typically caused by particular trigger foods such as gas-producing foods, caffeine, beans, alcohol, and dairy products. You may also experience constipation in a day and suffer from diarrhea after a few days.
While the main cause is unknown, treating IBS often involves changing diet; the first step to beat IBS is to avoid the foods that trigger its symptoms. Others find relief by following a certain diet that’s high in fiber and low in fat. Probiotics may also help ease IBS.
- Weight Fluctuations
Both weight gain and weight loss are signs of digestive problems. You’ll experience unexplained weight loss once your body can’t completely absorb the nutrients it requires from your food. On the other hand, slow bowel movement and constipation can result in weight gain.
If you’re struggling with ulcers or reflux, you can eat frequently to ease the pain, which can also increase your weight. Poor digestion, bloating due to food intolerance, and IBS can also be mistaken as weight gain.
- Skin Conditions
If you’re struggling with eczema, acne, or psoriasis, you might be surprised to learn that such conditions are due to digestive problems. Flaky and dry skin can be a sign that your body has low enzyme lipase and can’t digest fat properly. Moreover, if your digestive system struggles to break down food, you won’t get all the perks of skin-friendly vitamins such as K, E, and A.
Vitamin A is crucial to prevent acne, repair skin, and boost your immune system to get rid of acne-causing bacteria. Vitamin E is a known antioxidant, which protects your skin and keeps it healthy, while Vitamin K prevents pimples and speeds up healing.
If the balance between bad and good bacteria in your gut is off, you’ll experience inflammation, which can result in an uneven skin tone. Moreover, chronic inflammation may cause collagen breakdown that leads to sagging skin and wrinkles.
Some signs of digestive problems are obvious, like constipation and reflux, but there are other signs that can manifest from digestive problems that aren’t obvious. If you’re struggling with things, such as skin issues and bad breath, don’t hesitate to visit your doctor as soon as possible to avoid serious digestive problems in the long run.